On Mother’s Day, my good friend Greg became a father. In honor of this auspicious occasion—and because I’m really good at unsolicited advice—I’ve decided to dispense five morsels of parenting wisdom to him (and all the other freshman dads out there). I hope you’re ready, Greg, ‘cause I’m about to make you the best dad in the universe…except for Danny Tanner. He’s got us all beat pretty hard.
1.) Babies love music and they’re not very discerning when it comes to quality. Take this opportunity to lull your newborn to sleep with a heartfelt rendition of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”…on trombone. Don’t be surprised if, much like a Michael Jackson fan, your baby begins to weep hysterically as you execute some righteous glissandos. You really are that good.
2.) Babies are thrill seekers. Your wee one just spent nine months cooped up in a hot, squishy sack; it’s time for her to experience the world. And there’s no better way to do that than to strap her to the top of your car and cruise the block. The wind in her face will inspire her to take flight in all her endeavors (or something like that). A note of caution here. Your baby’s eyesight is a little murky for the first few weeks. Be sure to yell “duck!” as you pass under low hanging branches.
3.) Women were born to be mothers, don’t deprive your baby’s mama of any opportunity to embrace her domestic goddess. Let her return to cooking all the meals and cleaning all the rooms as soon as possible. You may feel the urge to help, but resist this temptation. It will diminish her role as the household nurturer. And if there’s one thing you NEVER want to do, it’s insinuate a new mom is incapable of performing her basic motherly duties.
4.) Late nights are inevitable. With all the baby stuff you have to do now, playing video games during the day will be nigh impossible. Luckily, gamers are creatures of the night, so that’s awesome. And more good news: research indicates that babies learn an absolute shit ton during their first few months on planet Earth. So if you hear baby crying from her nursery, she’s probably asking you to turn up the volume so she can better understand the nuances of modern warfare. Oblige away, Professor.
5.) Believe you’re the best. I’m going to get real with you for a second, the first six weeks are the hardest. You’re going to experience a range of emotions and tap into wells of exhaustion so deep you’ll beg for naps. Don’t give in. New parents establish their superiority over one another by rhapsodizing over restless nights. When it’s your turn at the one-up roundtable, you’ll be ready to trounce all the sleep deprivation stories with a true insomniac’s tale of woe.
best only piece of advice I should give you—hold tight to your sense of humor. Being a dad is an awesome experience—and Greg, I know you’re going to be one of the best—but it will be trying at times. When the shit hits the fan, turn it off and move it away from the changing table. Clean up, give cuddles, save the story for a toast on her wedding day.
All the best to you, your wife, and your newest addition.